You Can Steam Eggs

For years, I insisted that we get rid of our old and busted toaster – one that crisped the edges of the bread and left the center still bread – in favor of one that did more.

“What else do you want it to do?” my spouse wondered, before I read off a litany of bells and whistles I needed from a toaster. Could it make bacon? Could it take voice commands? Could it cook eggs?

(Crassly, I joked, “Basically, I want this toaster to eat me out while I’m eating breakfast.” They only thought this was kind of funny.)

The real clincher here was that I wanted it to cook eggs. Namely, I wanted it to hard-boil at least 2. “I don’t think this can happen,” they said, and then explained something about electricity and water.

“No, I’ve seen this before. I’ve seen toasters that hard-boil eggs.” This was true. When I wasn’t paying much attention and idly browsing websites, I had seen toasters with egg-steaming mechanisms attached to them. The steamers were always on the sides of the toasters, with 2 or 4 little indentations to put your eggs and an enclosure overhead.

This revelation puzzled my spouse: “How?”

It never once dawned on me to consider the mechanics of this contraption. “I don’t know,” I said. “I guess they steam them.”

“What? Where?”

“Amazon? In the store?”

“I don’t think you can hard-boil eggs with steam. Are you sure they weren’t frying them?”

“No, I’m very sure the eggs were hard-boiling and not frying.”

“Show me.”

And of course, I could not find any such evidence. Again, this was years ago, back before Amazon was as large and intrusive as it was today and before we lived in a major metropolitan area. Our stores were limited to Walmart and the other Walmart 50 miles away. Anytime we went looking for this mythical toaster-steamer, I came up disappointed. I was starting to look like a crazy person, or at least one who had made up this mythical device.

In fact, maybe even the steamer part of a toaster-steamer didn’t exist. Maybe the idea of steaming eggs was too novel of an idea. Maybe they were hard-boiled for a reason. No one hard-steams an egg. The topic came up in conversation with friends once in a while (“I still believe there are toasters with egg-cookers on them!” “Yeah, I’ve seen those — the little fryers?” “No! The boilers!” “Oh yeah. Wait, do they make those?” “Nina, we’ve talked about this…”), but for the most part, we dropped the subject.

Until. Just a few months ago.

It egg-sists!

This is the Hamilton Beach Egg Cooker. It comes with an egg-poaching tray and a built-in timer. It’s dead-simple to use: put the eggs in, pour in the correct amount of water, then forget about it until the timer goes off. And you want to know how it works?


I bought this immediately. No, it’s not attached to a toaster. I still haven’t found that, so maybe I did imagine that. But yes, you can use steam technology to cook your eggs all the way through.

This morning, I ate my steamed eggs in smug silence.

Author & Bi-Feminist-Killjoy. Occasionally has something interesting to say. The importance is debatable. Your mileage may vary. Books: "Icarus" and "A Bitter Spring"